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Hillsdale Homecoming, Fall 2021
Simpson cel­e­brating at Home­coming game     Courtesy | Student Activ­ities Board

You’ve felt the excitement of Mock Rock, skipped class to vol­unteer, and spent a Sunday night singing classic songs with the rest of campus in the Union. Now, home­coming week is gone, and dorm activ­ities are winding down. As everyone returns to the hor­ribly cor­rupting nature of the liberal arts, you may be won­dering: Where did everyone’s spirit and energy go? How could the passion of #repeat2peat or the excitement of defeating Simpson vanish? But esprit de dorm does not have to extin­guish as quickly as it seemed to flourish during homecoming. 

We get it. As stu­dents like to remind each other every day (or proudly boast to each other), Hillsdale College is a dif­ficult school. With its pesky insis­tence on reading Cicero, writing about Lincoln, or properly defining human beings, Hillsdale’s aca­demic rigor requires all of our time and energy. However, edu­cation is about more than writing our papers. As two devout Protes­tants, we fre­quently encourage the quo­tation of Simpson’s patron saint John Henry Newman, who explains that he would rather a uni­versity do nothing but allow its stu­dents to learn and live together rather than lecture them and send them to their homes without their friends and in iso­lation. Dorms provide the com­munity that Newman so encourages. 

In dorms, we do not just sleep in soulless, Soviet-style housing. In them, we cry together at Maximus’ journey to Elysium in the movie “Glad­iator,” laugh together at the late Norm Mac­Donald, and encourage each other to pursue knowledge of per­manent and beau­tiful things. 

Each dorm comes with its own special legacy. Being Simp­sonites, we rejoice in blaring “Downtown” and “Stacey’s Mom” during our walk­downs to Charger ath­letic events and the late-night shenanigans which fre­quent our halls. Even as ardent defenders of our excep­tion­alism, we know this esprit de dorm does not stop with us. We have watched as Gal­loway has engaged in the dif­ficult work of rebuilding their own culture after the ren­o­vation, while Nied­feldt and Whitley have created vibrant, strong tra­di­tions in our time here. 

For years, Olds has pro­vided freshmen women with a unique and thriving com­munity, and New Dorm strives to create a sim­i­larly mean­ingful expe­rience for its res­i­dents. To allow your dorm’s spirit to flourish, hold these old and new tra­di­tions in the highest regard. We are all bound together by a vast con­tract of tra­di­tions and customs, linking us to the alumni who have grad­uated and stu­dents yet to be admitted alike. 

Dorms are more than just places to live and sleep. In them, we find freshmen with thumos and seniors with a passion for knowledge and teaching. If you are a freshman, find an upper­classman or two and learn from them. If you are older, pour yourself into the freshmen and work to uphold your dorm’s culture. We promise you will quickly realize how infec­tious their energy and passion is. In the dorms, we find the greatest expression of Hillsdale College. These are places ded­i­cated to friend­ships of virtue and cul­ti­vating an eros for wisdom. Do not let the end of home­coming week allow yourself to use the dorms as merely a place to get away from the liberal arts. Instead, fall deeper in love with your dorm, and through your dorm, your edu­cation. You won’t regret it.